Scholar Says China Should Give Details on Official Who Went to Consulate

China’s government should release more information about the investigation into Chongqing Vice Mayor Wang Lijun, who spent a night at a U.S. consulate last month, said Cheng Enfu, head of the Marxism Academy at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

“I hope that the government can let everyone know about what is going on,” Cheng told reporters in Beijing today after a provincial meeting of the National People’s Congress. “There’s no good reason to keep this a secret.”

Cheng, an NPC representative for Anhui province, said many of his fellow delegates have been talking about the case. If Wang is corrupt, the details should be known, and if he has psychological problems, specifics on that should be disclosed as well, Cheng said.

Wang is under investigation after he spent a night last month in the U.S. consulate in Chengdu. Wang, 52, oversaw a crackdown on gangs in the southwestern city of Chongqing that raised the profile of Chongqing Communist Party Chief Bo Xilai.

Wang’s visit to the consulate from Feb. 6-7, confirmed by Chinese and U.S. officials, sparked speculation he was seeking refuge there. It comes as Bo bids for a spot on China’s highest decision-making body, the Politburo Standing Committee, ahead of a leadership change this year.

On Feb. 2, the Chongqing government said Wang had been relieved of his police duties and put in charge of areas including sanitation, athletics and education. On Feb. 8 the Chongqing government’s information office said he had gone on “vacation-style treatment” after suffering mental stress and physical discomfort.

Bloomberg News reported Feb. 10 that a first-class seat was purchased for Wang on a flight from Chengdu to Beijing on Feb. 8. Another first-class ticket on that flight was bought for Qiu Jin, a vice minister at the agency responsible for anti- espionage and covert operations.

Cheng is also an economics professor at the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Michael Forsythe in Beijing at mforsythe@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Hirschberg at phirschberg@bloomberg.net

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